Pulmonary fibrosis: symptoms, characteristics and treatment

Pulmonary fibrosis: symptoms, characteristics and treatment

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There pulmonary fibrosis it is a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue is damaged and scarred.

In turn, the presence of thicker, stiffer tissue makes it difficult for the lungs to function properly. As pulmonary fibrosis worsens, you become progressively more short of breath.

In turn, the scarring associated with pulmonary fibrosis it can be determined by a number of factors. An element that complicates the treatment, also considering the fact that the lung damage caused by fibrosis cannot be repaired. However, medications and therapies can help relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.


Some signs and symptoms of pulmonary fibrosis they can include shortness of breath (wheezing), dry cough, fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and sore muscles and joints.

However, it should be noted that the course of pulmonary fibrosis - and the severity of symptoms - can vary greatly from person to person. Some people get sick very quickly than others, still others have moderate symptoms that worsen more slowly over the course of months or years.

Some people may experience rapid worsening of their symptoms (acute exacerbation), such as severe shortness of breath, which can last from several days to weeks. People suffering from acute exacerbations may need mechanical ventilation.

The causes

As we have already mentioned, the causes of pulmonary fibrosis are numerous and very different from each other.

However, it is known that thelong-term exposure to a host of toxins and pollutants can damage the lungs. These include silica dust, asbestos fibers, hard metal, coal, grain, bird and animal droppings.

Still, some people undergo it radiotherapy for lung or breast cancer show signs of lung damage months or sometimes years after initial treatment. The severity of the damage may depend on the severity of the damage, how much of the lung has been exposed to radiation, the total amount of radiation administered, whether or not chemotherapy has been used, or whether or not there is an underlying lung disease.

Among other causes also i medications. Some medicines can in fact damage the lungs, and in particular chemotherapy drugs, for the heart, some antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs.

Of course, i lung damage they can also result from a number of conditions, including dermatomyositis, polymyositis, or mixed connective tissue disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, rheumatoid arthritis, sarcoidosis, scleroderma, pneumonia.

However, considering that even more substances and conditions can lead to pulmonary fibrosis, often, in most cases, the cause is never found. Pulmonary fibrosis with no known cause is called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Read also: Plaques in the throat, natural remedies

The diagnosis

To diagnose the condition of pulmonary fibrosis, the doctor will begin by reviewing the medical and family history, discussing the signs and symptoms with the patient and their family members, examining any exposure they have had to dust, gases, and chemicals, and conducting a physical examination.

During the physical examination, the doctor will use a stethoscope to listen carefully to the lungs while breathing, and may then suggest one or more clinical tests.

The treatment

There pulmonary scarring which occurs in the pulmonary fibrosis it cannot be reversed, and no current treatment has proved effective in stopping the progression of the disease. However, some treatments can temporarily improve symptoms or slow the progression of the disease. Others can help improve the quality of life. Doctors will evaluate the severity of the specific condition to determine the most appropriate treatment for your condition.

For example, your doctor might recommend recent medications, including pirfenidone and nintedanib. These drugs can help slow the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Additional drugs and new formulations of these drugs are under development. Doctors may also recommend antacid medications to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, a digestive condition that commonly occurs in people with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

Among other treatments we also mention theoxygen therapy.

In fact, although the use of oxygen cannot stop lung damage, it can make breathing and exercise easier, can prevent or reduce complications from low oxygen levels in the blood, can reduce blood pressure. blood in the right side of the heart, and can improve sleep and a sense of well-being.

You can get oxygen when you sleep or when you exercise, although some people may use it continuously. Some people carry an oxygen cylinder with them, allowing for better mobility.

Again, among the treatments that the doctor might suggest there is certainly the pulmonary rehabilitation, which can help manage symptoms and improve daily breathing functioning. Pulmonary rehabilitation programs focus on physical exercise to improve endurance, breathing techniques that can improve lung efficiency, nutritional counseling, psychological support and other approaches that aim to improve the patient's well-being.

Finally, notice how the lung transplant it may be the last option for people with pulmonary fibrosis. A lung transplant can improve quality of life and allow for greater longevity. However, a lung transplant can lead to complications such as rejection and infection. The physician will then discuss with the patient whether a lung transplant may indeed be appropriate for the specific condition.

Video: Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis IPF: Risk Factors and Diagnosis (July 2022).


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  4. Wynthrop

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  5. Vudor

    Could there be errors?

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